“I see automation everywhere. I see technology everywhere. Everybody has the hardware at this point; the key is the software.”
– Daniel Studdard, Principal Planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission
No one in the business would expect to change a system without supporting the associated people and processes, and the same is true for freight and traffic. Atlanta, GA is one of the most heavily congested traffic cities in the U.S., and yet it is also a supply chain and manufacturing hub. For every policy or regulatory change in the Atlanta metro area, there are associated infrastructure and planning requirements.
Daniel Studdard is the Principal Planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission. He and his team work with federal, state, county, and local governments to study traffic congestion and anticipate the long range infrastructure needs that will ensure the safety of drivers and the general public.
In this interview, Daniel Studdard points out the magnitude of the challenge associated with traffic congestion to Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:
[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio Broadcasting live from the Supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia. Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technology’s the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
[00:00:29] Good morning, Scott Luton here with you, Liveline Supply chain. Now welcome back to the show. We are broadcasting live today. If you came here from Moad X, the largest supply chain trade show in the Western Hemisphere is being held right here in Supply chain City, Atlanta G-A. And on today’s show, we’re speaking with one of the business leaders helping to make supply chain happen throughout the metro Atlanta region. Certainly the greater southeastern U.S. and by extension, the entire world. So stay tuned as we look to increase your Supply chain IQ on a quick programing note. You can find our podcast where we do your podcast from, including YouTube, Spotify, Apple podcast, you name it. We’d love to have you subscribe so you don’t miss a single thing. When to walk in? Well, welcome in my weirdly quiet co-host thus far. He always breaks in early early on. But Greg White serial supply chain tech entrepreneur, trusted adviser and legendary Atlanta city tennis champion Greg.
[00:01:27] Hey, I’m doing great. I’m trying to be more disciplined. Yeah. You still bring in that dadgum gold plate. Now you wait until we’re back in studio. Look, I don’t feel like these people should be burdened with that kind of distraction. I don’t want I don’t want people rushing the stage here in this public environment. There’s such a. Audience. Yes. You know, it’s audience. Yeah.
[00:01:44] But, you know, so the gold plate is just made the connection. You won a doubles tournament or league doubles.
[00:01:53] It was a it’s city championship. So. Yes. Single a Lynam elimination for round easy tournament after after a seven week season. I’m establishing my Tennis Know-How right this second. So as doubles is that you’ve got three teammates. It’s five lines. So for four additional teams, the doubles. Yeah. And it was mixed doubles. So thankfully my partner was able to carry me. She did a great job. Fantastic. Yeah. Well, in the rest of our team did a great job as well.
[00:02:23] Ok. I see your sponsor. But athletic apparel now. Yeah, and that’s right. Yeah. All right. Well, we’ve got an endorsement. We’re kidding. We are kidding. All right. So we’ve got a great guest there, the logo. That’s right.
[00:02:37] We’ve got a great yesterday. And actually, we’ve been fortunate to connect with Daniel Studdard twice this week. Yeah. And we’ll touch on the other reason here shortly. But Daniel serves as principal transportation planner with the Atlanta Regional Commission. Daniel, good morning. Good morning, Scott. Great. Great to have you once again. Yes. Earlier this week, we hosted the 2020 Atlanta Supply chain Awards. Moad X tyrannically hosted them. You presented for the second year in a row. One of those awards. I know that you and your team and certainly the ARCC, which work learn more about here momentarily. There’s so much to help make business happen. Certainly supply chain happen. And appreciate what you did. Thank you. We should watch all day here. Yeah, I know. All right. So now we’re going get the nitty gritty on Daniel Studdard. So we go before we talk shop, before we kind of, you know, get get some of the things that that you and your team do at ARCC. Tell us more about yourself. Where were you from, where you grew up? And give us a, you know, anecdote or two about your upbringing.
[00:03:34] Well, I’m actually a native, the Atlanta area, which is a little bit uncommon. Yeah, Atlanta, you’d find a lot of natives. But of course, we had people from all over that moved to Atlanta. It seems South Carolina. Kansas. Yeah. I was born not too far from here in DeKalb County. I grew up in any kind of DeKalb County, Rockdale County, mostly. So can your Shorja for folks are familiar and still mount my own area where I was born. So grew up, you know, native of the area. So kind of unique like that. Graduated high school and headed out to a University of Georgia for undergrad. And beautiful Adams G-A. Go Dogs Ellum Love Athans Classic College Town. About 30000 students there at the time. Back in the late 90s when I was in school. How he’s grown since then. Certainly it’s bigger now. I was actually up there, the campus a couple of weeks ago. And it’s it’s every time I go up there, it’s different. You know, it’s it’s growing. And you’re like, there used to be something else there. Now there’s a massive building. Yes, it’s consulation. Yeah. My undergraduate was actually journalism, mass communications. And so, you know, kind of, you know, back in the day, I go to TV and all that looks interesting. I want to do that. Yes. And we actually have a program for that when I was in high school, kind of a video production program. So I started doing that back then. And. And, you know, kind of freelance different gigs with, you know, the athletic association and things like that that were available. If somebody needs to, you know, shoot a game or make a highlight video or something like that. Yeah. Myself and a couple other students managed to do it and occasionally even make a couple dollars off of it. Which was nice.
[00:05:01] Let’s say you’re Keith business age. Yeah. Wards off ramen noodles and actually have a real mill. Everyone’s out. This was high school. So, you know, this was extra spending money. It was college more so that, you know, had to do it and live off the ramen noodles. Yeah.
[00:05:15] Well, what? So. So what he’s saying is he’s he’s tracking a mentally check list of all the things we’re doing wrong here with our production.
[00:05:22] Greg, do you agree? We’re gonna get a consulting couple hours. Daniel, looking at our camera and going, man, that’s a lot smaller. It used to be something big up on the jerai. Yes. And now you’ve got a iPhone. Yeah. Yeah. It is amazing. Like a new iPhone, too. Oh, yeah. That thing is quality. It’s a powerful camera. It really is amazing. Yeah, you can see right into what you had for breakfast. Singleton. That HD on that camera really is better than what I was shooting with, you know, back in the day, so. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:05:52] Well so clearly. So when you graduate from Georgia, what we’re talking kind of pre-show of kind of what led into your current role and we’ll touch more on your come your professional journey. Right. Part of that was graduate school at Georgia Tech. Is that right?
[00:06:07] It was software for about three years between undergrad grad school is going on behind the scenes and TV news production, corporate video production, and then decided, I want to become a planner, a transportation planner. Now, what inspired. Yes. I always get that question. Yeah. So if you’re Branson traffic and you have some opinion like was once this intersection like this, you know, it wasn’t their turn lane here. Or was there a sidewalk here? Why do I had to cross the street like even on campus at UJA? There re-allocation towards like sidewalk here when I have to go over here. I don’t have to do this. And I always had lots of opinions. Yeah, as as most of us probably do. Yeah. I’m not saying they were good opinions or smart opinions, but I had plenty of opinions.
[00:06:49] You’re in the right place. Yeah. Also opinion.
[00:06:52] Exactly. We call it. And so I had plenty of opinions and this was kind of 2002. The economy was a little slower, the job I was at. You know, I had some pros and cons like many jobs. Do you I kind of started looking around about what? What do I want to do for the rest of my life? And. And somewhat stumbled upon planning as a profession. And somewhat will give partial credit to to my then girlfriend the time who got tired of me having those opinions and said, if you think so. You know so much. Go to grad school, give degree and go do happen to actually send me something about the program towards attack. And while ending she was looking to grad schools. Do we both were and she was like, go do this.
[00:07:25] I’m like, I think I might. And yes, and I’m not taking you with me. Well, yeah, I went to for grad schools, different careers. But, you know, it’s it’s kind of funny. Like I look back at that like, yeah, that was a decision. Pivotal moment. Yeah. Going to grad school. Do you send her a basket of gifts on the anniversary? I I don’t maybe I should say. Because you’re not if you’re married. I wouldn’t go. Not even so much as a thank you on the Facebook. By the way, this has taken a strange turn. Hit it.
[00:07:56] All right. So let’s keep talking. So you you keep all cash, your professional journey. Clearly, we now know what the inspiration was for your work. You do. Which we’ll touch on more here momentarily. But tell us more. Lead us into your current role with the Atlanta Regional Commission.
[00:08:12] Yes. So I was in grad school, like I said, for urban planning at Georgia, TAG was transportation specialization. So I could kind of take those opinions I had and get some data behind them, understand the processes. When I graduated, I went into consulting in transportation planning. I spent about a decade doing that when I really. Yeah. Okay. When I was first out of grad school, I went to a consulting company that was done in national company. But their office down in Tampa, Florida, was there about a year and half doing primarily traffic studies. So, you know, again, you look at traffic congestion intersection, you can go out to count. You put it into special software and get a what’s called a level of service, which is like a letter grade. ABC TRF in terms of ayling, in terms of efficiency, traffic, how it handles volume stuff, how it handles volume, the amount of traffic congestion and safety. Oh well, safety is a different type of analysis really. It’s definitely part of what we did as well. I’ve had a specific safety studies where you’d find like a couple hundred crashes at an individual intersection over, you know, a three or four year time frame.
[00:09:12] What I’m so so if I can interject just for a second here, because after all of those sandwiches, we’ve had two lunches through the years you’ve been I don’t think I ever knew that you did 10 years as a consultant. You look like you’re 23, which is a compliment.
[00:09:25] Yeah. He’s holding up good.
[00:09:26] But. So that was a for a Florida based firm we’re used to.
[00:09:30] So they were national. But the fact was I was in their tank office. OK. Are you whose company called PBS and J. But they’ve since been bought out by a larger company called Atkins. Ocassions british-based. Yeah. So yeah. These you’ll have dancing. Why? We’re getting roundabouts around here. I can honestly totally get it. There’s a lot of a lot coming from, you know, from roundabouts weren’t common in the U.S., but a lot of like they should be.
[00:09:53] They are rare. They are great.
[00:09:54] Hey, if Walton County, Georgia, is adopting roundabouts, they are going to be prevalent everywhere. Yeah. Daniel. So were you when you were doing that consulting work? Were you looking at cities coast to coast or did you sent you spend your time on several major cities? What what was what your workload looked like?
[00:10:12] When I was in Tampa, most of what I did was in South Florida, somewhere in around Tampa, Florida area, was there for about a year and half, came back to the Atlanta area. Went for it to a different company up in Peachtree Corner Store called Ponton Company. Most of what I did was kind of metro Atlanta, north Georgia, obviously, where region of over 5 million, almost 6 million people. So plenty of work and transportation, traffic and, you know, bike and pedestrian analysis and transit and things like that. So, you know, around Atlanta, you hear the Beltline and stuff like that that comes up. And so worked on some of that worked on some things outside of metro Atlanta, too. There’s a handful projects kind of usually still in the southeast. But yeah, definitely worked on anything from small towns to big cities in between.
[00:10:54] And that’s true in your current role. You’re that right?
[00:10:57] No, that was still when I was in consulting. Yeah. Really? Everything okay? Like I said, was it mostly metro Atlanta? But certainly, you know, other parts of Georgia and throughout the southeast. We would work in and most of it was public sector clients or state duty’s local governments, things like that. Occasionally private sector, occasionally military. Worked on a military for military base contract in Gulfport, Mississippi one time. OK. So for a traffic study. So you have to get your opinion on something.
[00:11:25] Why is it in the Atlanta area that we have so many intersections at blind intersections at the top? Of hills or at the top of hills with also a curve in them. Why is that? Is it? Is it the legendary reason that I hear these are old? And the reason that I’ve heard is that they are ancient cow paths and an Indian trails. I don’t. And they’ve just. They weren’t. They were traffic right areas. And we just haven’t re-engineered them.
[00:11:54] Is that for the most part? I would say a lot of that’s true. You know, not every roadway, but a lot of a lot of roads in our region. Certainly war, you know, kind of paths that were already there before or automobiles or anything. It was Native Americans living through in the area and they just continued. HASSEN Exactly. In a lot of those were usually, you know, at high points. Yeah. So are Peachtree Street, if you look at downtown midtown in Atlanta.
[00:12:17] Strangely, I don’t know where I picked up this piece of trivia, but it’s the eastern continental divide. Okay. Meaning if falls on the east side a peace retreat, it eventually will end up in the Atlantic Ocean. The falls on the west side of Peachtree Street. It will eventually end up in the Gulf of Mexico.
[00:12:31] You have got to be kidding. That’s what they told me in a class ago. Everywhere but that Adelheid. And that’s kind of like Daryl on midtown, maybe. But you don’t stand on the middle of Peace Street to see which way the water gonna follow for long ways. It’s going gone. That was my first thought. Streams, creeks, rivers.
[00:12:47] But yeah, eventually. But yeah, I think it is natural you kind of build out from there. Yeah. And you know, Metro Lanta. It’s actually very hilly. Obviously we’re in the foothills of the Appalachians that a lot of physical barriers.
[00:12:59] Plus this is one of the original 13 colonies. So unlike land-grant states like I come from Kansas. Right. It wasn’t divided up into sections. It was kind of.
[00:13:09] Catch as catch can. Exactly. And so there there was that and in, you know, outside of, say, downtown midtown Atlanta and some of the suburban downtowns you can see likes where you have a little bit of a grid and was planned. But beyond that. Yes. It wasn’t really planned out. It was kind of, you know, free flow, whatever happens, happens if you compare it to, say, a New York or some other major cities where you see this solid grid Ryder that goes out. And it’s very easy to say, oh, I need to get to 20th Street. And if you’re at 10 Street, well, you know, 10 blocks up. Atlanta, do small pieces of it are like that. And so we’ve kind of developed very differently and in part because of most of our development was post automobile. And so we’ve got a very suburban style of development versus a more urban style that you might get in a New York or Paris or London all somewhere that developed Greene for the automobile. Interesting.
[00:13:56] All right. So I want to shift gears here.
[00:13:59] We probably ought to get off his job now. Don’t you think? Well, there’s so much there’s so much interesting stuff here, Sharon. It all builds up. Yes.
[00:14:06] I mean, it all does kind of come to where you are now. Right. Doesn’t it? It does. But original commission. But before we talk about RCA, I want to make sure, you know, I was a slow adopter. I was a laggard when it came to appreciating the beltline. We talked about that before. And I think for folks outside of Atlanta, you know, they met when you when they hear Beltline. They may not they may not be like me and not get it right. But that is reshaping the metro area in many ways of part, a number of factors, that is.
[00:14:32] But that certainly is when when those projects with deep roots, lots of appreciation and lots of use it. So explain in a nutshell since especially since you were part of the project. What is the beltline?
[00:14:43] So the beltline is kind of a loop that goes room downtown, midtown Atlanta roughly.
[00:14:49] It is built upon an abandoned rail line. So our Ayanna going kind of back to the very beginning. Atlanta, it was built along rail lines. It was where rail lines from the East Coast can meet rail lines, go into the Midwest and avoid the Appalachian Mountains. So this was the furthest point to the north that they could do that. So it started with rail lines and we have rail lines going in every direction except for due north because of the Appalachian Mountains. And so there are lots of rail lines and towns still are.
[00:15:11] Atlanta, originally known as Terminus. Exactly. And so the rail lines are going everywhere.
[00:15:18] And, you know, about 20 years ago, almost grâce to Georgia Tech. Not that somebody I knew at the time before my time, Ron Gravelle. He wrote his thesis and said, what if we took these this route and turned it into something where it was more of a it took the abandoned rail lines and turned them into a transit and a trail loop. And so the idea came about like, well, maybe that maybe that’ll work. And it kind of started picking up momentum over time. It was how do we acquire the property? How do we pay for this? How do we fund it? Design, construction, everything. And so we’re partway through that process. And by partway, I mean, the pieces of the trail have been built on the east side, on the north side, on the southwest side with the plan to complete that entire 22 mile loop, which trail sections. And beyond that, hopefully eventually trains it as well.
[00:16:06] Yeah, interconnect into some others, because in Cobb County we have the Silver Cometary, which was an old train grade that went from Atlanta, from Smyrna, actually, to Birmingham.
[00:16:16] Absolutely. And the Silver Comet already at all. It reaches the Alabama state line right where picks up a different trail. And Alabam, I think Chief Duga that maybe. But during that name and I apologize if I am. But it basically say of Alabama has something similar than getting to Birmingham. Right. And so the Silver Comet goes all the way to Cobb County. It doesn’t quite get into the beltline in Atlanta, but they have plans to connect those, right? Right. I make that connection similar. There’s a something called Paff Foundation around metro Atlanta that builds shrills. And there’s an existing trail that goes from the bell on all the way out to Stone Mountain, east of Atlanta, which folks around here are familiar with. You’re not.
[00:16:51] It’s a very large Granite Mountain State park around it. Right. Exactly. And so it connects to that. There’s a path 400 trail going north. And so it’s something kind of building this network of trails. Piece by piece.
[00:17:04] You know, the interesting thing about Stone Mountain and I’m an expert because I toured there not too long ago with my children. That’s what makes you an expert. That’s really that’s overnight. They do share a lot of information. Yes. Unlike many, most mountains that are formed by the plates colliding and pushing upwards. Right. Stone Mountain, actually, the top of Stone Mountain used to be ground level in years, a millennium of years eroded. The the non-green around the mountain, which made it a mountain. Yeah. You knew this already?
[00:17:37] I did. And did you also know that that loss or that loss on that Stone Mountain is far larger underneath the surface than it is about? I knew that. Yeah. Sorry, I should let you. You’re going to finish with that. I’m sorry. You stole my Patel. So it’s all my granite. My my previous company.
[00:17:55] We always held our our our customer gathering at Stone Mountain and people were fascinated by it. So. Right.
[00:18:04] We learned a lot. Fast Eddie out. Yes, it is excising piece of rock. So, all right, so let’s talk about the Atlanta Regional Commission. If you if you do business in Atlanta, you rubbed elbows with folks as it’s a pretty capable and large organization. But some folks may make certain assumptions around what it does and what you all do. So. So if you could, Daniel, talk about what the HRC does and then talk about what you do in your role. OK.
[00:18:31] So the Atlanta Regional Commissioner, HRC, large regional organization that does a number of different things. I’m on the transportation side under what’s called a metropolitan planning organization MPO. And I’ll circle back to that. Can I get some more details in a minute? But I want to hit on the fact that we do a lot of non transportation things. Do you? I’m a transportation planner, but there’s a lot of different areas you can work in, in training and planning. And so we have folks in community development that are focused on land use, planning and economic development. We’re the North Georgia Water Resources District offices. So we talk about water or lack thereof sometimes or right now more flooding in Atlanta and Seattle with the amount of rain we’ve had. Right. But certainly drought and not enough water in the region has been an issue at times. And, you know, there the folks, you have to kind of manage that at a regional level. So we had that staff we have staff that’s focused on data and research are the ones that kind of make the projections. I mean, how many millions of people are projected to to move here in the coming decades? We have staff that are focused on transportation, demand management. So kind of encouraging carpool. They employ telework, various incentive programs to get people enrolled in very time limit.
[00:19:33] So time out. One second, because here in the south, we all love the dry. We do. Unlike other areas of the globe and other cities here in the states. But we all love that independence and we’re all are like stubborn about it sometimes. So that’s what you just described there in terms of how we’re trying to change behaviors stuffing do in Atlanta.
[00:19:51] It’s a tough thing to do in most areas, to be honest, especially ones the regions like Atlanta that were built post-World War 2 posts, you know, automobile, which is really most of the United States. You know, we look at a New York or some other areas that are more grid in his Ryder. But obviously, we have a lot of sprawling areas and throughout the country. So it is a challenge. It’s something where you’ll see kind of a generational shift of folks who were younger than myself more likely to use alternative means where older than myself might be more likely to drive. But at the same time, you know, that’s that’s not everybody. You know, that’s kind of stereotypes. And each person is going to write a unique approach.
[00:20:26] Well, as far as my wife likes to tell me that there’s there’s some millennial in all of us. There’s probably some genze in all of us or there’s some some silent generation, all of us. Right. You can’t generalize.
[00:20:35] Generation X rays, generation Y and Generation Z.
[00:20:39] So there’s us and them and them enough. That’s not inevitable. Right. That’s it. Exactly.
[00:20:45] But what we’ve seen is certainly, you know, the programs can encourage Karpel van will have some impact. What we’ve seen really in the past five or six years a lot is teleworking has taken off because it was actually kind of a large regional survey that’s finishing up now, looking at the impacts of alternative modes like that and usage. And what we’ve seen is, you know, there was always a little bit of carpool, Vanderpool telework, all their transit usage out there. A few folks you Bob Walker bike and especially, you know, taking the belt line. Yeah, well, we really saw was this big jump and teleworking over the past five years. I think we’re getting to the point where that technology is getting there better than it used to be. And it didn’t just get there yesterday. It’s something that, you know, it’s kind of been there. And so it’s been able to kind of filter into workplaces and become a norm. You may not do every day, but if you’re even doing it once, you’re doing it once a week, you just reduced your travel by 20 percent. If we reduce 20 percent by everybody in the region, yeah, we have a whole lot less traffic congestion in Atlanta. So if you can do even just one day a week telework, that’s great.
[00:21:42] I think if you could cover the Beltline, I think people would ride bikes. Poor that, you know, half-joking there.
[00:21:51] But I mean, the child the truth is, is to going with it rains 55 inches a year here. Right. We have a drought. You know, drought is technically 20 percent reduction. Ryder is a 30 percent. I had somewhere in that range. But when we when we had a drought, one year, we got 32 inches of rain. Right. So you’re right. It rains so much here. And the beautiful thing about these rail grades as a trail is that they are relatively flat because trains can’t climb hills, right? Yeah. Metro Atlanta. So Hurley. But the Vetlanta flat. Yeah. Yeah. Likewise with the Silver Comet trail. It’s it’s an easy ride. If you’re an old guy trying to get in shape.
[00:22:28] That is good. Yeah, I enjoy it. Yeah. You’re not an old guy. I’m saying. I’m I’m sort of middle age. That’s where I’m old and all too well. Yeah. All right. So ladies, I’m going to be like a hundred and thirty.
[00:22:42] So you’re you’re talking about some some things you do some Ryder says I’ll do. Yeah. Obviously I.R.S. is much broader than that.
[00:22:49] But I’ll I’ll just add that, you know, we also have a work’s workforce group that knows. You’ve met some folks were there. Yep. Kind of focus on, you know, workforce need to metro Atlanta training programs, things like that. We’re also area agency on aging, which is actually a big, big part of what happened today or see, because that’s a huge need and it’s a lot more staff and there than some of those other. Groups I just mentioned combined, and so that’s a lot of what we do as well. But then myself, I’m like I said, I’m in the transportation world. Transportation planner ARACY was designated as a metropolitan planning organization or an MPO. That is a federal designation. So we handle required long range regional transportation planning for metro Atlanta. And so that’s a federal requirement now. Any region with urbanized area with 50000 people or more has a MPO. So most anywhere you’re at in the United States, you know, unless you’re in a truly rural area. Yeah. Probably have the equivalent of an or in some form as an as an MPO metropolitan planning organization. Wow.
[00:23:48] So let’s touch on the freight task force. That’s good. I think where we initially met years ago and that’s a group that you lead and I think the first. So I’m by no means my transportation expert, but I’ve got picked up some really interesting observations and insights and contacts from from this this task force you lead. Right. One of the first studies that really I gleaned out of some of things that you all helped facilitate and help communicate was the the study that that some groups were doing that evaluated truck rest stops.
[00:24:23] And it’s something, you know, a promise is something as much as probably most Americans don’t maybe know about the truck driver shortage. Folks aren’t in supply chain on a transportation. You know, just like I’ve got plenty of blindspots. Folks don’t know about that. But but by extension, no one ever thinks about where and how can these truck drivers that have this this massive responsibility, their own going problem solvers, they’re becoming more more technologists these days where they can pull over easily and rest in a safe and secure place because they have mandated rest requirements.
[00:25:02] Right? Right. Yeah.
[00:25:03] To speak to not a rehash of the whole project. Well I speak to that a little bit, especially that y’all’s role in helping to drive data and awareness in problems like that and then maybe give us something that is, you know, Tupperman product these days.
[00:25:21] So I’ll start with why we did that project. You know, you got to set it up pretty well. But for us, you know, we were seeing this was a need at the national level. Federal Highway Administration was starting to push this out. It’s in something called Jason’s law is in some federal transportation legislation called Map 21. It was a map 21 update past, I think in 2011. Twelve and out of this is a map. Every transportation law has some acronym. Yeah, I think map was like moving ahead for progress or something. They they kind of start with an acronym and work backwards.
[00:25:53] But it was Jason’s law. Was that named after your reference during this meeting? Could be right back. The truck driver, a truck driver that pulled over, I think, in South Carolina. Right. It was not a he had found somewhere. And a lot of drivers will spend a good bit of time, as your study pointed out, trying to find a secure place. This gentleman, unfortunately, lost his life because he’s being robbed or something.
[00:26:15] Yeah, you got it. Exactly. He was looking for somewhere to park. Couldn’t find anywhere parked in a vacant lot where a lot of truckers had part in the past because they knew it was available. Unfortunately, that night he was robbed. Murdered. I think he had something like $7 on him is what they found. And while they did catch the person did that at the same time, that’s, you know, little solace to his his widow. He had a toddler. His wife was bright. You know, it was really a tragedy in the fact that, you know, so many people depended on him. He had so many loved ones. And and so it’s something that was kind of a call to action to a certain extent for the federal government. UPS and you have hours of service requirements on truck drivers. And by that I mean there’s a maximum number for Ryan drive per day and then some other rest breaks during the day, things like that requirements. But then after they drive a maximum of eleven hours and a 14 hour time period, they have stopped for a minimum of 10 hours.
[00:27:05] But there are not enough rest areas or, you know, truck stops, places like that for truck drivers to park, especially in urban areas. You know, if you’re in a truly rural area, the chances are you may find a rest area. Truckstop, without too much of an issue on ramp, you see a lot of trucks on, on or do in that off ramps. That’s that’s an issue that’s considered unauthorized location. It’s usually illegal to park there. From the truck driver perspective, it’s hey, I have nowhere else to go. Yeah, it’s better than a vacant lot, you know, because there’s always some cars passing by. On the flip side, they may be rear ended while there’s an here and while the the truck driver themself may be OK. And that if you’re the car who rear ends, that you know who anybody in that, that’s a safety issue for them. So there have been a few crashes over the years where somebody hit a a truck that was parked like that. So that’s not ideal either. And police officers sometimes are hesitant to actually knock on the window.
[00:27:53] It’s a right move because they’re probably they know they have nowhere to go. But Leslie’s safe when.
[00:27:59] Yes, it but less and less. Let’s make sure everyone understands why that’s a problem and some of the causes are there. Our. Service requirements eleven hours. Right, so when you’re approached in the that you’ve got to pull over, right. Or you get in trouble. Right. Technical word there. But the challenge based on law, the day that that study uncovered is that there weren’t enough locations, especially safe, well-lit, secure locations. Number one. Number two, the thing that sticks still sticks out in my mind is that the data your uncovered was that on average, I believe truck drivers were spending over an hour a day just trying to find somewhere to pull over. And you think about how that slows down supply chain. What if what if they could an Aino, all things kind of happen on the roads, traffic going through cities. Of course, we’re at curve balls. But if you could just plan and know ahead of time where the location is based on where you’ll be. Maybe we could check if we could cut that figure in half. You know, and save that stress and certainly protect our drivers. That would be a huge win win, right?
[00:29:06] It would also first and foremost, the truck drivers do plan ahead. They saw her writing Ryder. The truck stops are with white areas are they’re doing their best to plan their day. And that plan is only as good as what gets thrown at them that day where they usually have little to no car and they’re the ones in charge of the truck. And that’s about it.
[00:29:22] So let me rephrase. If we could plan ahead and have more locations, you know, to be where that is, that’s what I’m saying. Or more visibility. Yeah, that’s what I’m. Yeah, yeah.
[00:29:31] Good point. So they they you know, they have their rail plan l have an idea what they’re doing. But then inevitably there’s some traffic congestion. They know certain times a day where there’s gonna be some as we all do. But then, you know, they do this for a living. They’re experts on it. But then you hit that unexpected traffic congestion at 11:00 a.m. 2 p.m., right. 9 p.m., some 3 lane that’s you’re closed on I-75. Exactly. That you didn’t expect there to be a crash or there’s construction. So suddenly that throws all their day. They also run into issues where they may go make a pickup or drop off at a warehouse and they allocate. Okay. I think I’m going to be here an hour to make that pickup or drop off. Next thing you know, they’re there three or four hours or 50 or something like that. And the way that hours of service works, while they’re not technically driving, they’re still on duty, essentially. And so there’s an eleven hour max of drive time, but 14 hours total. So, you know, you only got three hours of that buffer time that you use for, you know, a lunch break or for, you know, spend time and making a pickup or drop off. So if only you could go go to this pick up or drop off and then, okay, I’ve got to I’ll be here an hour, then I’ve got a couple hours left and hit the road and hit this rest area.
[00:30:33] Birgit, this truckstop, you know, an hour or so off the road. And next thing you know, you ran out of time. While you’re either sitting in traffic or you’re sitting making this pickup or drop off and you don’t have time left on your hours of service to get to that that location that you had scouted out ahead of time and that that’s where I’m going to park. And so at that point, they’re left with either driving and being in violation of the hours of service or parking in an unauthorized location. So a highway ramp, a vacant lot side of the road, somewhere like that. So it’s bad option or other bad option. Right. And so much of the time you see them, which of these bad ideas that you want to. That’s it. Exactly. That they’re they’re picking the least bad option. And so sometimes you’ll get complaints locally when they’re there, park in a parking lot or something like that. It’s like, well, they’re making a rational choice and that if they violate the federal law, it can have a bigger impact than violating things locally where chances are at worst someone’s going to walk in the door and say, you have to move. Yeah. Most of the time that’s worse. But certainly they can be a crime victim, as we have discussed. And so that is a it’s it’s not frequent, but it can be terrible when it happens or there’s kind of weighing the negatives and and, you know, the risks.
[00:31:38] So I think it’s a blind spot, no pun intended, for part of the truck drivers world beyond the shortage, that it’s great to see leadership gather together and get data around and then figure out how. At a minimum, as a metro Atlanta community, business, community and infrastructure, how we can address it here in arguably, you know, who does use metro Atlanta highways and byways and infrastructure to, you know, you name it ever I come through here. Right. All right. So beyond that project, what’s what’s one the current things you’re working on?
[00:32:12] So right now, we’re working on something called a freight cluster plans. And I’m going to give a broader brief overview. We completed regional freight plan update in 2016. And again, this all feeds into our federal planning requirements. So we work with Georgia D.O.T., we work with all the cities and counties and a 20 county metro Atlanta area. So almost a hundred cities and 20 counties and state D.O.T.. And so anything they use federal transportation funding, that’s all in our plan is required to be there. So that’s kind of why we exist, because the reality is there could be a project in Fulton County that has impact on Douglas County. Cobb County, something like that. And so we have to look at things regionally and make sure, you know, things make sense or that, you know, you don’t widen a row from two lanes to four lanes. And then at the county line, it drops back down to a two lane. Right. You have to look at things at regional level. So our regional freight plan update we complete in 2016 has a project list. But of course, it said, hey, you need to do some additional plans.
[00:33:02] It’s that job security for people like me. So I make sure that’s in there. Right. And so part of it was do the truck parking study. We saw as a growing issue party was doing what we called free cluster plansand because we looked at our region, we have a lot of county level plans, we have some city level plans, we have some plans at, you know, activity center, neighborhood level, you know, downtown parking lot or whatever. Exactly. It’s all the way down to individual retailer. It is absolutely yet available to impact. Your eyes would fall under that. However, we had only done plans and Industrial areas there. They had somewhat been ignored because they’re not. And no one in their right mind, not like. Let’s look at what park in Industrial area overnight. No, not I don’t mean just for triple 0 yen for anything for train. More broadly, of course, that we have all these plans, but not not in that area for transportation or landing’s or economic development. In some ways it’s just like, well, that’s old Industrial. Yeah. We want the business. We you know, we want to bring in the businesses and the jobs. But kind of the Proactiv let’s plan for had necessarily happened in the industrial areas for Sting.
[00:34:03] And so we we identified that need and we put some some federal planning funds aside and said, you know, we need local partners for those because you always have to have a kind of a 20 percent local match for these federal funds. OK, well, he’s got to have skin in the game if they want to do this. You know, it’s not just a freebie, right. Gotta make sure that they’re invested, that they’re going to do this and then do something with it after the fact, because once they put spent some money on it, they hopefully don’t want to just sit on a shelf. They want to be proactive and move forward. So it made some of that available. So right now we’re doing four of those and have a couple more in the works after that. But the four we’re working on right now. EMS around the Atlanta airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. So obviously air cargo is important there, but lots of lots of stuff just patrolling that area. Yeah, growing. Amazon has a massive distribution facility there and some other rather massive distribution centers and then got freight forwarders, things like that.
[00:34:50] And we should say Elate Page was also at the 2020 Atlanta Supply chain Awards. And and Linda, Ashwini, Nate. They are two of the leaders that lead the air cargo at ACL and they just launched, which is parg an impact somewhat Yarl’s work, right. The Atlanta Air Cargo Community System. Right. Which is making it much easier to get business and tap into the air cargo that comes through the world’s busiest airport. So you’ll probably have a a full plate ahead as you plan around the airport, as you look to use that that Industrial space around the airport, right?
[00:35:27] Absolutely. Yeah. There’s a lot of infrastructure needs and. Yeah, that’s kind of what we’re doing. You know, part of it’s a traffic sodium. It’s not earlier and that’s when you go to the counts and get that level of service. Figure out what those needs are.
[00:35:37] Aerotropolis, that’s what they’re referring to. Place around airport, right?
[00:35:41] That’s exactly. It’s they are Troppo S.I.D. Community improvement districts that are actually a local partner on that. And S.I.D. Are very common in metro Atlanta. They’re they’re kind of called business improvement districts and other parts of the country. But it’s these are areas that are self taxing where businesses come together and say we need more money spent on transportation infrastructure or public safety or beautification, whatever it might be. And so they become a self taxing area where they actually pay more in taxes. And it goes that S.I.D. Than in turn can use it to leverage grants like the one we have available and kind of, you know, bring in more transportation finds and build more transportation infrastructure to serve those needs with those areas. So make sense to me. So that’s Aerotropolis is having like the two more going on northeast of Atlanta, wanting Gwinnett County, the Gateway 85 S.I.D. Which is going to Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Buford Highway, I-5 area one in northeast DeKalb County, which is the Tucker Summit, S.I.D. Which is Mountain Industrial Boulevard. So Mount Freeway area that you may be familiar with. Southwire. Yeah. And then another one’s kind of on the edge of our region. And Spalding Kelly was kind of halfway between here, Macon. Most folks may not be familiar with Spalding County for not local and but it’s kind of out there a little bit rural still, but has Caterpillar for manufacturing some other main major manufacturers out there and a lot of undeveloped land and some existing major roads there. And they’re like, we’ve got the land. We want to bring in more development and be smart about it. We want to plan ahead.
[00:37:04] Ford is Renz and Spalding County. Yeah. Yeah. Rin’s Raine’s our town. You know what city as folks try to put city would be mostly Griffin.
[00:37:15] Yeah. Okay. Griffin Oh yeah. Yeah. Caterpillar is a big player down there. Yeah. Gotcha.
[00:37:19] Oh, and that’s that’s a tough that’s a tough stretch of road between Macon and Atlanta, especially as you get closer to Atlanta, of course. But that is it. That is a tough stretch road. The thought of additional development and more trucks there.
[00:37:34] A little bit scary, isn’t it? We’re still with organic. Right. I mean, I’m I’m think I’m you know, I’m thinking of it from a usually from a. Yeah. User standpoint. And I’m thinking that’s a big responsibility because that is already a treacherous and and congested.
[00:37:51] Right. So a lot of the road, a lot of that congestion is there in Henry County, you know, McDonough, Lucas Grove, which is a massive, massive amounts of Industrial. I think you know what? Home Depot has to figure out what it wanted. McDonough went to Lucas Grove Little Towns, which are basically next door to each other. Right. It grew so much that it was. matsen to have two facilities from a big company like that and obviously lots of lots of other disabilty taught together.
[00:38:13] You get Savanah on one side, Atlanta and then the you know, everyone’s getting to the. I mean, you get all kinds of factors that that make that stretch tough. But so clearly these these freight clusters are going to help the state of Georgia continue to help expedite everyone’s global freight come through here.
[00:38:29] Right. Absolutely. And that that’s all sorts of key for us. You mentioned the port and you know, I mentioned Henry County. McDonnell, Oaks, Grove, they part of why they grew there in that geographic sweet spot because a driver could leave Henry County drive to the port of Savannah and pick up a container from the port. Get back to Henry Kelly and me there. I was a service for a day because the port of Savannah, they get you in and out pretty quick. Never thought about that. And so there you come from north side of Atlanta. You’re going to have to track. Yes. Yeah. But if you started Henry County, your congestion mostly would be Henry County. And so you can do that. Spalding County kind of similar, but it’s kind of a little bit further south. So it’s starting to hit more that development and so that that location can matter a lot in terms of the type of business that you may be getting.
[00:39:08] It is fascinating to hear rate how regulation, which sounds very intuitive, but regulation kind of drives where things get developed, including those hours of service for drivers.
[00:39:18] It’s interesting how they conflict with one another as well. Yeah. Good point. Good point. And you know, we talk you hear this term a lot. Unintended consequences. Right. And, you know, it’s interesting how how complex those things are. I’m sure they seem simple in the political spectrum, but they are very, very clear channel UPS.
[00:39:37] The. You pull this lever, it has this this consequence over here. You pull this one goes about the other way.
[00:39:42] So the truck parking in particular, because you have the federal requirements for the hours of service. Right. Part of why you don’t have more truck stops is because of local zoning, because the zoning doesn’t allow the truckstop to get bill because most people don’t really want to live near a truck. Stop it. Right. Ryder high value like hey, I want that, you know, next door to me. But at the same time, it’s hugely necessary for these truck drivers to have somewhere safe to to sleep, to grab a bite, to eat.
[00:40:05] Right. Groceries, things like that. I love truck stops because it lets me know the Seabees still exist. Right. Which I did not know. You can always find a hat. They have the best shakes. And really, honestly, the lounges and the bathrooms. And in Truckstop, they are impressive. I mean, they’re like they’re like a mini dormitory.
[00:40:23] They and they really they have so many more services and the available than a typical like when you’re traveling longer distances, like that’s a good place to go because, you know, it’ll be busy, it’ll be safer. You know, there’s more food options, more stuff. You need to buy something on the road. Yeah.
[00:40:37] So I’m really only half joking. Yeah. You know, when you when you come up on some of those. But never like a small city. Yes.
[00:40:44] But never, never leave your gas tank being fueled unattended. We’ll say that story for another show. You saw somebody. Who? I saw somebody. Yeah. Did that experience experience some overflow spillage so well. So nevertheless, we’ll keep driving. No pun intended. So this as we start to wrap up this interview. Right. This is Daniel. You’re like a walking encyclopedia of so many things from development, a regulation, a transportation, which, of course, is the backbone of Supply chain where we had to bring you back.
[00:41:12] This can be like a multi-part episode. Absolutely. But let’s start as we can’t start winding down. I want to get your key takeaway or two about Mode X, which I know you don’t spend every day here. But of course, we saw you on Tuesday. You probably poked around some things here today.
[00:41:29] Key takeaways yet. So Tuesday, Supply chain Awards, a great kind of hearing different stories of the folks who are the award winners. And then afterwards, got to walk around the show here in mutex, which is massive. If you haven’t been to this, massive doesn’t do it justice and has all of exhibit hall B and C here and just one of those exhibit halls, this is huge in its own right.
[00:41:47] And so 400000 square feet under roof as well. That’s what John Paxton just told us. I believe it. And yeah, it feels bigger. Yeah, it does.
[00:41:56] It does when you’re walking your shirt. It did when I was trying to get to your booth today. Yeah. I don’t think I took the shortest route. I thought I was going to and I but, um, pretty standard that task force counts tell. Yeah. That’s what. Yeah. Okay. That’s the next generation. We all have Google Maps and ways until you had to get them out. I want to know how to get to that part. Yes. That this booth. Forty seven. This is exactly. Yeah.
[00:42:17] So but walking around here on Tuesday I see automation everywhere. I see technology everywhere. There is these massive displays and all these things that are moving on their own. And it’s not just a conveyor belt. Right. You know, here’s the thing that can pick up your pallet by itself. And here’s the thinking that can pick up something much heavier than your heaviest pallet by itself, and it knows where to go. And so this technology is everywhere. I was gonna go to Booth and he was like, yeah, we’ve got all this set up and it’s at all our competitors. Everybody has this hardware, this point. You know, everybody’s got very similar hardware. He’s like, the key is the software. He’s like, it’s tough to demonstrate that on the show floor, but that’s where we’re making advances. So the hardware, the things that are moving, the things around autonomously, that’s been around a few years at this point and it was ubiquitous over a decade as a matter. Exactly. And so it’s the we’re not at the beginning stages where more that intermediate stages. And how do we optimize? Software, a move things forward. That’s right. And so, yeah, I think on the Supply chain side that that’s really where things are moving forward of, you know, it’s kind of like how we had cell phones. And then at some point you got a BlackBerry and then you got an iPhone or an Android. And then that first iPhone or Android was nice. It could it could get on the Internet and writings, but it wasn’t till like people started getting apps and really changing things that you saw all the differences like, oh, we can have an Uber and Lyft that can have a real world change.
[00:43:33] So we’re kind of getting there, I think, on on supply chain technology and I think on the same on transportation technology, kind of I see the parallels in my work as well, because we’re seeing so much more transportation technology that’s a little bit getting to where it’s it’s been at that pilot phase for the past decade where you’ll hear about stories while autonomous pilot testing here in there air here in the city of Atlanta on North Avenue, there’s a connected vehicle corridor if you want to, you can download something called the Travel Safely app. It’s on the iPhone, on the app store. And the Androids were in it free. And you can drive down there and it’s going to tell you messages as you go down North Avenue, you’re sitting at a red light. It’s about to turn green. It’ll say get ready for Greene in this robotic loves. If you’re approaching a red light and you start to speed up, it will sound an alarm. It is going to tell you that because the makers of this app took me on a test drive out there and the guy said, don’t worry, I’m going to speed up towards this red light. Don’t freak out because I’m not speed up and hit the brakes. And so he has to trick the software to think he’s about to run the red light because some percentage of red light running is because of a distracted driver. This look in their phone or eating or talking or whatever.
[00:44:43] And this device can tell that you’re not going to make it. You are going to run this light even if you speed up.
[00:44:49] That’s the thing. It a knew that we were speeding up. OK. It was like if we were slowing down. OK. But if you you’re speeding up, that light is red.
[00:44:58] You know it is you red. Yeah. The light was red was red light. Exactly. A whiteboard. We had the white guys at Southwire.
[00:45:04] And I think the idea is that you may not be paying attention. And yet it’s worried that some percentage of red light runners just aren’t paying attention. Yeah. And so it’s a safety issue of, you know, you want to avoid that crash that happens if somebody runs a red light because those are usually bad. Right. And so it’s something it gives you. It sounds alarm like it’s not subtle when it right at others. Why he warned you. Exactly. Because he going to have to hit the brakes, doesn’t it? There’s other software that does other things. Ryder, you’re coming around a curve on a highway. You’re traveling 60 miles an hour. Say it’s gridlocked up ahead. You don’t see it often coming on that curve. You might rear in that car ahead of you. Yeah. This kind of gives you that warning in advance. There’s a lots of different pieces of technology that are giving you those warnings. You know, we hear about autonomous vehicles and Teslas and things like that. All that’s, you know, moving forward and getting there. The connected vehicle stuff’s kind of been in the background and growing at a strong rate, but it doesn’t catch your attention as much. Right. But it’s all coming is going to come in 10 year from now to be standard.
[00:45:57] That’s right. All right. So as much as we hate that one is down, we want to make sure folks can connect with you. Absolutely. And learn more about the Atlanta Regional Commission. So give us some guidance there.
[00:46:07] Ok. So we’ll learn more about us. Go to Atlanta regional dot org. You’ll find anything about pretty much any of the stuff I talked about in terms of ARACY. There’s a drop down meaning for freight. You can find of all of our freight web pages, including one for our free divisor task force, which Scott mentioned, that’s something where we really need to hear from the private sector about what your needs are in terms of transportation trucks on the road. Railroad needs, airport air, cargo needs. Because when we talk again, this is where you’re federal. Federal transportation dollars are going. Yeah. You know, you see road construction out there. You’re seeing the construction workers. Somebody designed that project. And before that, somebody had to plan it up. Figure out how to spend the money, where it could come from. And so we want to get that input. And so that’s true for us. That’s true for every organization like us nationally, every MPO. And even if you don’t have an MPO, you have somebody doing this job that needs to hear from you, because at the end of the day, the the decision makers are elected officials and they’re going to listen to voters rightly.
[00:47:03] Freight doesn’t vote for it’s not in the voting booth. And so we need to hang on. Yeah. Not yet. So we want to hear from you. That’s good. So it might be a survey sometimes, things like that. But it’s something where these meetings in particular, Scott’s been there. We’ll have these various plans and studies going on that we need to hear the you know, what’s happening in your world. Yeah, we have information about those on our Web site. I know this recording a mutex is going to come out and, you know, maybe in the next couple weeks, the next one after that would probably be May 21st. OK. Endedly scheduled at this point. But we’ll have the details on our Web site. And we use a post on Eventbrite as well where you can find the details and register and they can connect with you. Only 10 as well. Arlington, Va. Lee May 21st for the next freight task force. Exactly. First thing in the morning, we usually do 8:30, 30 to 10:00 a.m. So you can come to that. Then go to your day job.
[00:47:48] It’s a great event. It’s a great event. It’s a great not only market intel industry, intel event, great networking, Daniel. And the team does a great job.
[00:47:57] Most everyone’s welcome. UPS, right? Yeah. You’re in the freight logistics industry. Come on. Yeah. We ask you, you know, sign up on Eventbrite. So we have a headcount campaign ahead, but.
[00:48:06] And you can get on his. You got it. You’ve got a communications list. So let folks go through Atlanta original dot dot org or. Yeah. You could find that. And you can certainly find Daniel stuttered on LinkedIn.
[00:48:19] And there’s a there’s a page like Summit your comment or question to A or C here to freight and. Yeah, you can get to me through there as well.
[00:48:26] And we’ll try to Sardinia. We’re going to that will send you a tool at Shearson information if you want to send us one. There’s direct links will include shown UPS. OK, so folks and we’ll make it even easier. That’s great. So we’ve been talking with Daniel Stutter, principal transportation planner with the Atlanta Regional Commission. It doesn’t you know, it spent 40 minutes with Daniel does not do it justice in terms of it’s all of this.
[00:48:45] I’ve got a half dozen questions.
[00:48:48] Well, we’ll have to have Daniel back on.
[00:48:50] We really great friend, the show, great ally for business throughout the U.S., but certainly throughout the metro Atlanta area. Appreciate your partnership throughout the 20/20 Atlanta Supply chain Awards two years ago now for sure. And stay tuned for information and details for year three of the Atlanta Supply chain Awards. So to our audience, stay tuned as we continue our coverage of mutex 2020 right here in Atlanta. G-A. In the meantime, you can check out other upcoming events, replays for interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Big thanks to our guests. Daniel stuttered again with the Atlanta Atlanta Regional Commission. Fondness and subscribe or ever get your podcast from on behalf of the entire team here. Greg Amand. Clay. Chris, you name it. Many, many more Scott Luton here. Wish you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.
Daniel Studdard, AICP, is a Principal Planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), where he manages ARC’s freight planning program. ARC is Atlanta’s designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), responsible for federally required long-range transportation planning for the 20-county Atlanta Region. In this role, he works with local governments, Georgia DOT, FHWA, supply chain and logistics companies, and other organizations to conduct freight planning as part of the MPO’s regional planning efforts. Mr. Studdard served as the project manager on the Atlanta Regional Truck Parking Study, manages the ongoing ARC Freight Cluster Plan program, and leads the ARC Freight Advisory Task Force, which seeks input from the private sector on freight transportation infrastructure needs in the region. Prior to joining ARC in 2014, Mr. Studdard spent a decade doing transportation planning and traffic studies for private consulting companies, as well as three years in the communications field. He is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners, is currently President of the Georgia Chapter of the American Planning Association, and is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Urban Freight Committee. Mr. Studdard has a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning with a Transportation focus from Georgia Tech and a BA in Journalism from the University of Georgia.
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Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.